Believe it or not the remote control to our television is supposed to make life easier for us, that is until we decide to do more than turn the power on and off, change the channel or turn the volume up. Heaven forbid we accidently hit the menu button that exports us to a galaxy far, far away, leaving us clueless as to how to get back to the original show we were watching. Thankfully, I learned early on from my kids to simply hit the ESCAPE button. As remotes became more complex and I was willing to increase my remote-control intelligence (by jumping from Direct TV to the Blue Ray DVD player and back to Direct TV), my daughter Kelli revealed the purpose of the SOURCE button. No matter how often I would fumble through my television and video options, I could choose to begin again by pressing the SOURCE button.
Imagine having a remote control to navigate your life! Just when you’re ready to pull your hair out over your boss, your children, your spouse, your parents or your teachers, you could just press the ESCAPE button. Realistically, some people do just that. They use alcohol, drugs, food, bullying, violence and other addictions to remedy their situation, only to find themselves in a never-ending cycle of self-destruction and wondering how on earth they got to this point. This is where the SOURCE button would be optimal in returning to a place of choices.
Working with individuals, couples and families over the years, I’ve noticed it seemed easier for them to pretend there’s a BLAME button rather than a SOURCE button. It’s difficult to move forward implementing optimal strategies and a course of action if they’re caught up in the blame game. By pressing the SOURCE button instead, it allows them to return to the beginning and review their choices. Some clients admit that they still deal with conflicts the same way their parents and grandparents did going back generations and generations. As much as I want to pat myself on the back for solving problems going back for generations, I’m here to tell you it’s not rocket science. The simple question I ask is, “How’s it working for you?” I suggest they stop blaming the past and get to the root of things by going all the way back to the SOURCE. Why do we do what we do (today)? Set your sights on becoming the Generation of Choice and overcome the story that has followed your family for generations all the way down to you.
I remember a minister once suggesting that it’s easier to overcome difficult challenges over a short period of time rather than living with the consequences of doing nothing about it for the rest of your life. From that perspective, change becomes the easier path rather than remaining in a rut you’ve been stuck in for years. Remember, the next time you find yourself ready to pull your hair out over a conflict, consider the SOURCE button.
Originally published in the Bay City Tribune on Sunday, July 16, 2017